This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
November 22 is the 326th day of the year (327th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 39 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1990, Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister in British history, announces her resignation after 11 years in Britain’s top office.
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher is the only woman to have held either post.
Born in Grantham in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, Thatcher went to school at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School in Grantham, where she was head girl in 1942-43. She read chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and later trained as a barrister. She won a seat in the 1959 general election, becoming the MP for Finchley as a Conservative. When Edward Heath formed a government in 1970, he appointed Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science. Four years later, she backed Keith Joseph in his bid to become Conservative Party leader but he was forced to drop out of the election. In 1975 Thatcher entered the contest herself and became leader of the Conservative Party. At the 1979 general election she became Britain’s first female Prime Minister.
In her foreword to the 1979 Conservative manifesto, Thatcher wrote of “a feeling of helplessness, that a once great nation has somehow fallen behind.” She entered 10 Downing Street determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitate national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, and the selling off and closing down of state owned companies and withdrawing subsidy to others. Amid a recession and high unemployment, Thatcher’s popularity declined, though economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support and she was re-elected in 1983. She took a hard line against trade unions, survived the Brighton hotel bombing assassination attempt and opposed the Soviet Union (her tough-talking rhetoric gained her the nickname the “Iron Lady”); she was re-elected for an unprecedented third term in 1987. The following years would prove difficult, as her Poll tax plan was largely unpopular, and her views regarding the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine’s challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.
Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister was the longest since that of Lord Salisbury and the longest continuous period in office since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, and the first of only four women to hold any of the four great offices of state. She holds a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, which entitles her to sit in the House of Lords.
498 – After the death of Anastasius II, Symmachus is elected Pope in the Lateran Palace, while Laurentius is elected Pope in Santa Maria Maggiore.
845 – The first King of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon.
1307 – Pope Clement V issues the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.
1573 – The Brazilian city of Niteroi is founded.
1574 – Discovery of the Juan Fernandez Islands off Chile.
1635 – Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island.
1718 – Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as “Blackbeard”) is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.
1812 – War of 1812: 17 Indiana Rangers are killed at the Battle of Wild Cat Creek.
1830 – Charles Grey, (2nd Earl Grey), became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1837 – Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain in his essay “To the People of Upper Canada”, published in his newspaper The Constitution.
1858 – Denver, Colorado is founded.
1864 – American Civil War: Sherman’s March to the Sea: Confederate General John Bell Hood invades Tennessee in an unsuccessful attempt to draw Union General William T. Sherman from Georgia.
1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark is launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day.
1908 – The Congress of Manastir establishes the Albanian alphabet.
1928 – The premier performance of Ravel’s Bolero takes place in Paris.
1935 – The China Clipper takes off from Alameda, California for its first commercial flight. It reaches its destination, Manila, a week later.
1940 – World War II: Following the initial Italian invasion, Greek troops counterattack into Italian-occupied Albania and capture Korytsa.
1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad – General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th army is surrounded.
1943 – World War II: War in the Pacific – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek meet in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss ways to defeat Japan (see Cairo Conference)e.
1954 – The Humane Society of the United States is founded.
1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, who is later captured and charged with the murder of police officer J. D. Tippit. That same day, US Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.
1967 – UN Security Council Resolution 242 is adopted by the UN Security Council, establishing a set of the principles aimed at guiding negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.
1969 – In American football, the University of Michigan upset Ohio State University, 24-12, in Bo Schembechler’s first season as Michigan’s head coach. The win set off the 10 Year War between Schembechler and Ohio State’s Woody Hayes. (See also Michigan-Ohio State rivalry).
1973 – The Italian Fascist organization Ordine Nuovo is disbanded.
1974 – The United Nations General Assembly grants the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.
1975 – Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco.
1977 – British Airways inaugurates a regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.
1986 – Mike Tyson defeats Trevor Berbick to become youngest Heavyweight champion in boxing history.
1987 – Two Chicago television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.
1988 – In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed.
1989 – In West Beirut, a bomb explodes near the motorcade of Lebanese President Rene Moawad, killing him.
1990 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher withdraws from the Conservative Party leadership election, confirming the end of her premiership.
1995 – Toy Story is released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.
1998 – Albania constitution adopted by popular referendum.
2002 – In Nigeria, more than 100 people are killed at an attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest.
2004 – The Orange Revolution begins in Ukraine, resulting from the presidential elections.
2005 – Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany.
2012 – Ceasefire begins between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel after eight days of violence and 150 deaths.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Earliest day on which Thanksgiving Day can fall, while November 28 is the latest; celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. (United States)
* Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Lebanon from France in 1943.